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Feature Story from 2009

Fiona McCarthy, a biocuration specialist with the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine, examines protein expression data that may indicate how the immune system develops in chickens. (Photo by Tom Thompson)
January 8, 2009 - Filed Under: Animal Health

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- When Australia native Fiona McCarthy arrived three years ago to begin work at Mississippi State University as a biocuration specialist for the College of Veterinary Medicine, she felt an innate connection with home.

McCarthy grew up in Queensland, a state in Australia that is located in the northwest corner of the country close to the equator. The area is known for its hot climate, rural lifestyle and reverence for sports. Aussies refer to it as part of the Deep South.

Sally Tipton of Starkville cares for a 26-year-old thoroughbred retired race horse named, Teak. Teak's gray patch of hair on his forehead is a typical sign of aging.
January 8, 2009 - Filed Under: Equine

By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Gray hair, stiff joints, poor teeth and weight changes are not just signs of aging in humans; they afflict horses as well.

Molly Nicodemus, an associate professor of animal and dairy sciences at Mississippi State University, said horses often display noticeable signs of aging. Although they vary from horse to horse, these indicators can appear as early as 15 years of age.

Nicodemus said owners may notice graying hair, loss of muscle tone and stiffness in their horses.

An unidentified horse and rider.
January 8, 2009 - Filed Under: 4-H, Equine Assisted Therapy Programs

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Volunteers, instructors, therapists and an ideal facility came together in 2008 to earn reaccreditation for Mississippi State University’s 4-H therapeutic riding program.

Now in its eighth year, the 4-H Therapeutic Equestrian Activity Member program offers horseback riding to children and adults who have challenges ranging from autism to spinal injuries.

January 8, 2009 - Filed Under: Wildlife

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A Feb. 11-13 workshop hosted by the Mississippi State University Extension Service will help restore the whistle of the bobwhite to properties throughout the Southeast.

Designed for landowners, the intensive workshop includes detailed information on bobwhite biology and management. The on-campus workshop in Tully Auditorium at MSU’s Thompson Hall will give landowners the tools to manage their property for bobwhite quail.

January 8, 2009 - Filed Under: Soils

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Extensive, lingering rains have turned much of the state into a soggy mess while replenishing rivers and lakes and recharging groundwater stores.

Charles Wax, state climatologist at Mississippi State University, said 2007 was the worst year of the recent, multi-year drought the state experienced. The end came in 2008 when above-average rainfall came in August and heavy rains began in late November.

January 8, 2009 - Filed Under: Health, Colon Cancer Screening

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The Mississippi State University Extension Service is recruiting people interested in becoming trained Smart Aging: Healthy Futures volunteers to help promote well-being among seniors in their communities.

Training sessions have been set up in Oxford and Natchez. Those in the northern half of the state can receive this training Jan. 29 from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. in Oxford at the Lafayette County Extension Office at 101 Veterans Drive. The registration deadline is Jan. 27.

January 15, 2009 - Filed Under: Food

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Friends and family can help young newlyweds begin their lives together by stocking their kitchens with quality basics.

Marlana Walters, owner of The Everyday Gourmet on County Line Road in Jackson, said when the economy is hurting, quality becomes increasingly important, even if it costs more.

“Brides are becoming more selective and value-conscious. Quality items will last forever, and couples will be less likely to need to replace them,” Walters said. “Just remember that you do not have to have everything at once. Get the basics first.”

January 15, 2009 - Filed Under: Family

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Some wedding traditions are okay to break, while others are best left alone.

If Emily Post is not available, the next best person to ask is someone with considerable knowledge and skill in wedding productions. This person can be a member of a church assigned to this task, a mother of the bride or a professional wedding planner. It is a safe bet that one of these individuals has the experience to offer good advice.

January 15, 2009 - Filed Under: Family, Family Financial Management

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Newlyweds believe their future is rosy, but before they know it, the bloom can wither and dissatisfaction can dominate the relationship.

Problems often arise unexpectedly because couples do not prepare well for marriage. Some have not invested enough time in getting to know the person they are marrying or have not explored their individual philosophies about family, fidelity, finances and fighting.

January 15, 2009 - Filed Under: Family, Pets

By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The wedding march begins, the doors open, the guests rise and here comes . . . Fido, Bowser and Snowball wagging down the aisle.

For better or worse, dogs are becoming the new nontraditional members of wedding parties. Many couples wouldn't dream of leaving their favorite dog out of that special day. Although not as common, some couples have their cats and birds take part in wedding celebrations.

January 15, 2009 - Filed Under: Family

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Children can make a wedding memorable in a lot of ways, but the happiest memories are made when guests and the wedding party work together to plan their involvement.

When guests remember that the focus of the wedding day is the bride and groom, decisions like whether or not to bring children to the event become a lot easier to make.

January 15, 2009 - Filed Under: Family

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Out-of-town wedding guests travelling with children should add “child care” to the list of arrangements they have to make when planning the trip.

Caring for children on the big day can add stress to the enjoyable event, especially when the guests are unfamiliar with the place they are visiting. Many people avoid the issue entirely by either bringing someone to care for their child while they are at the wedding or leaving the child at home with a caregiver.

January 22, 2009 - Filed Under: Insects-Crop Pests, Insects-Forage Pests, Insects-Pests

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Agriculture specialists will address management of pests in peanuts, grains, pine trees, cattle, blueberries and landscapes during a day-long workshop on Feb. 10 in Raymond.

The annual pest management workshop will take place at Mississippi State University’s Central Mississippi Research and Extension Center auditorium. Registration is $10 and begins at 8 a.m., and the program begins at 8:30 a.m. Sessions will conclude by 4:30 p.m.

January 22, 2009 - Filed Under: 4-H

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Four qualified 4-H'ers will have the chance to participate in state government for one week in March serving in either the Mississippi Senate or House of Representatives.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service 4-H program and the Center for Governmental Training and Technology are sponsoring the opportunity for 4-H youth to serve in the Legislative Page Internship Program March 16-20. Program coordinators hope to select two male and two female 4-H’ers for the positions.

Women for Agriculture logo
January 22, 2009 - Filed Under: Women for Agriculture

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Women, who are often the sole decision makers in their agricultural businesses, are the target audience for an upcoming seminar in the Mississippi Delta.

The three-day program will help participants learn how to make the best choices for their businesses and lay the groundwork for future educational opportunities.

The Mississippi 4-H Learning Center and Pete Frierson 4-H Museum lights up the night during the holiday season. (Photo by Jim Lytle)
January 22, 2009 - Filed Under: 4-H

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Young people learn Mississippi history through textbooks, but visiting the 4-H Learning Center and Pete Frierson Museum in Jackson can give them a unique opportunity to experience the past through the eyes of their ancestors.

More than 30,000 youth have toured the learning center since it opened in December 2007 at the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum complex on Lakeland Drive. Some visitors were veteran while others were only vaguely aware of 4-H and the opportunities it affords youth.

Alex Corzo, assistant poultry science research professor at Mississippi State University, carefully monitors chicks that eat feed containing an ethanol byproduct. (Photo by Marco Nicovich)
January 29, 2009 - Filed Under: Biofuels

By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Ethanol serves as an alternative to conventional fossil fuels, and researchers are finding ways the poultry industry can benefit from its production.

Demand for biofuels is due in large part to volatile fossil fuel prices. American businesses are embracing the shift toward renewable energy, and government mandates are making it more profitable for corn producers to sell the crop for ethanol production than for animal feed.

January 29, 2009 - Filed Under: About Extension

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The life of staff members of the Mississippi State University Extension Service are often far from routine, a fact finally documented in 198 pages of humorous and insightful stories.

True Tales from the Mississippi State University Extension Service was compiled in 2008 and is available for purchase. The hardback book collects some of the most interesting and unusual encounters MSU Extension Service personnel have had with individuals who are sure their questions can be answered by someone from “State College.”

January 29, 2009 - Filed Under: Wildlife Youth Education

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Several wildlife groups will assist in an event for future hunters on Feb. 14 in an effort to lay the foundation for safe and responsible hunting.

Mississippi State University’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in the College of Forest Resources is offering a squirrel hunt for young people. The hunt will take place at the Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge, located southeast of Starkville.

January 29, 2009 - Filed Under: Family Dynamics

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Marriage education providers will gather Feb. 12 in Jackson as part of a statewide initiative to raise awareness about the benefits of a healthy marriage and resources for troubled relationships.


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